We are not doing social science in any empirical sense, nor are we doing scientific ecological study. This is an exploration of the qualitative. We are working with personal and collective memory—in all its unreliability, misalignments, and fragmentations. So if someone were to say, “the eels of the estuary are gone,” we accept that as told, regardless of whether an estuary biologist says, “There is still a population of eels in the southwestern section of the river bottom.” The important bit in this example is that a relationship that was once productive and probably symbiotic is gone, and this absence has a place in this person’s memory.
We will not be making a historical narrative, although we will include historical figures and events—mutinies and mutineers, for example. The inscriptions will be there for those who know, and for others to wonder (if their curiosity gets the better of them, they can explore the database). As with all ghost ships, there should be a sense of mystery. In this way, we hope to have this monument align with actual memory. It will be imperfect; at times indecipherable; fragmented; ever eroding, yet recoding; and of indeterminate duration.
Stuart Bowditch (Found Speakers) and Warren Harper (Found Stories handsome one above) are leading the gathering of local stories - - if you would like to chat to them - contact YoHa